Helmer's hot for 'Frost' pic

After heated interest from suitors including DreamWorks, Warner Independent, Harvey Weinstein, Colin Callender and Scott Rudin, Universal Pictures won a deal over the weekend for rights to adapt Peter Morgan’s play “Frost/Nixon,” with Ron Howard to direct.

Howard saw the show at the West End’s Donmar Warehouse last week and was said to have helped hammer out the pact during his London stay.

Potential buyers were initially held at bay as the legiter’s sellers were debating the timing of any filmed version. Howard and U have agreed to shoot the project following the show’s West End and Broadway transfers.

Morgan’s play concerns the famed 1977 television interviews between David Frost and former president Richard Nixon. Production, which quickly sold out its limited run, stars Frank Langella as Nixon and Michael Sheen as Frost. It has earned rave reviews.

Morgan will adapt the work, to be jointly produced by Working Title and Imagine Entertainment. Eric Fellner and Tim Bevan will produce for Working Title, Brian Grazer for Imagine.

Sam Mendes and Martin Scorsese also were discussed as possible helmers of the film adaptation.

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